Distractions interrupt every part of our lives, including our spiritual lives. As Christians, we have a purpose: to be in a personal relationship with God and live that out in our daily lives. Many things can distract us from doing that. As wonderful and cool social media has become, it can also be a major distraction in our life. From Facebook to Twitter to any gadget that begins with the little letter i, let’s face it, our ‘face-time’ with another human, or more importantly-our God, can become extremely limited. I’m not saying that these things are bad or evil, but I do believe that too much of ‘anything’ can be harmful. I pray that I keep my priorities straight and recognize that it could be a potential stronghold in my life if I let it.
Many other things distract us from our spiritual walk with God – our busyness, our stuff, our problems, even the good things in our lives. Christmas shopping is upon us and I love to buy gifts for my family and friends, which is a good thing, right? However, if I focus all of my time (and money) out shopping for that perfect gift, and I neglect ‘face-time’ with the One and Only Reason we celebrate Christmas, it is not a good thing. We must constantly be aware of God’s presence and His workings in our daily lives. If we are aware and stay on our toes then we can try to minimize the harmful distractions so we stay on course as we follow God.
While there are some distractions that are harmful for us, God sometimes uses distractions to get us to stop thinking about what we think is right and start thinking about what He says is right. Saul believed that persecuting Christians was the right thing to do. He thought God was pleased with his actions. God had to get his attention with a dramatic distraction that changed the course of his whole life (and the lives of many others!). The more stubborn and passionate we are, the more dramatic God may have to be to get our attention.
Some distractions are clearly bad for us because they take our focus off what we should be doing. We need to discern between a distraction that should refocus our attention and one that should not. If a distraction is mainly about us (it tempts us to do wrong or to disregard a commitment), then it is not a good thing. If a distraction is mainly about others (it allows us to help someone in deep need or it provides a teachable moment), then it is a good thing. If we set clear goals for how we will serve God and manage our day and then we focus on those goals, we will be less likely to get sidetracked by harmful distractions.
Distractions bombarded Jesus all the time. But He didn’t see them as distractions; He saw them as opportunities to save the lost and to help someone in need. A distraction can become a divine opportunity to show someone the love and care of God. Sometimes God interrupts us for good reason. Don’t miss a chance to help the people God brings to you. Stay on your toes!
(excerpts taken from “The Complete Book of Life’s Questions with Answers from the Bible”.)